S3E – The Engine for South European Deep Tech is a European project with the ambition to develop an engine of growth to contribute improving the connectedness and efficiency of the entrepreneurship ecosystems in Southern European countries.

S3E focuses on the acceleration of deep tech projects, start-ups, and SMEs that, by providing solutions towards a more sustainable society and economy, can impact social development and economic growth in these countries and contribute to the timely achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in line with the EU Green Deal, the EU Digital Agenda and the Recovery Plan for Europe.

Why Southern Europe?

All Southern European countries are Moderate and Emerging Innovators, according to the European Innovation Scoreboard and to close the innovation gap, to the countries that are Strong Innovators, they need to improve on several dimensions, namely the spill over to society of the knowledge produced by research activities. Because deep tech start-ups are fostered by research that, in most cases, is developed within the scientific ecosystem (e.g., universities, tech transfer offices), the acceleration of deep tech projects, start-ups and SMEs facilitates this knowledge spill over and, thus, it is a significant contribution to change the socio-economic development paradigm in countries with less developed innovation ecosystems.

A recent study, carried out under the umbrella of the European Startups project, supported by the European Commission and the European Parliament, clearly shows a divide between Innovation Leaders and Strong Innovators and Moderate and Emerging Innovator both in the origin of the deep tech start-ups as well as in the funding of these start-ups. It is precisely this divide that the S3E project aims to address, by providing services to improve the quality and the outreach of business acceleration services in the targeted developing innovation ecosystems and by uncovering high-potential deep tech projects, start-ups and SMEs and connect them to the more advanced innovation ecosystems.

Why Deep Tech?

At S3E, we define Deep Tech as the umbrella term for all those technologies grounded on either scientific discovery or meaningful engineering innovation. Deep Tech nurtures the development of disruptive solutions built around unique, protected or hard-to-reproduce technological or scientific advances and drives the creation of products, processes or services that fulfill unmet (or ill-met) market needs.

On July 2022, Europe adopted the New European Innovation Agenda with the objective to position Europe at the forefront of the new wave of deep tech innovation, supporting start-ups to develop new technologies to address the most pressing societal challenges and to bring them on the market. S3E, in line with the above, echoes this ambition and it is committed to be the place where the best talent work hand in hand with the best companies and where deep tech innovation thrives and creates breakthrough innovative solutions across the EU.

Several aspects contribute to set South3E apart.

In the first place, the fact that S3E is focused on a group of countries (Southern Europe) that are lagging in terms of innovation-led social and economic growth and that, because of their geographic location, share some common socio-economic traits that may contribute to facilitate the deployment of this growth engine.

In the second place, because S3E is focused on deep tech for sustainable development which may lead to start-ups that can have more impact on growth than the business model innovation-based start-ups, that usually are catered for in this type of projects.

Last, but not the least, the project nurtures the root that enables the offspring of deep tech start-ups, which it is a very important endeavour that, sometimes, it is taken for granted in countries with more advanced innovation ecosystems and, thus, perfectly functioning support to technology commercialization, but extremely needed in countries with developing innovation ecosystems.

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All in all, South3E alignment with EU priorities and strategies strengths our commitment to improve the market connectedness & efficiency of research teams, startups & SMEs working on Deep Tech through the acceleration of Deep Tech projects coming from research teams, and deep tech solutions coming from start-ups and SMEs that can impact social development and economic growth for a more sustainable future.

Learn how we are going to accomplish our mission through our three innovative programs (START, CHARGE and REVERSE) and get ready to APPLY to the Open Call #1 to join the SOUTHERN DEEP TECH REVOLUTION.

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